Football Features

Celtic 2-1 Rangers: Every player rated as Morelos red card fuels frantic Old Firm derby

By Chris Smith

Published: 14:09, 31 March 2019

James Forrest snatched a late winner as Rangers fell to a cruel 2-1 defeat over their Old Firm rivals Celtic on Sunday.

Celtic Park was rocking once again as these two Scottish giants played out a titanic battle, fueled by a ridiculous Alfredo Morelos red card for an elbow on Scott Brown shortly after Odsonne Edouard had given the Bhoys the lead.

Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent scored a wonderful unlikely equaliser for Rangers as Steven Gerrard’s side rallied in the second half, but a misplaced pass from the otherwise flawless James Tavernier allowed Celtic in and Forrest scored to effectively end any remaining hopes of a Scottish title race.

Here are the full player ratings for yet another consuming Old Firm derby.

Celtic

Scott Bain – 5 – Conceded with the only shot on target he faced and spilt a Ryan Kent cross right at the end, leaving Ajer having to make a brilliant last-ditch tackle to keep Celtic ahead. Not an assured day at the office.

Mikael Lustig – 6 – For long spells, Lustig defended brilliantly, tucking inside to cover his centre-backs and snuffing out whichever Rangers player dared face him. Along with Boyata, though, was left for dead by Ryan Kent for the equaliser.

Kristoffer Ajer – 9 – An absolute rock at the back for Celtic. Confident and assured in possession, dominant in the air and made a crucial last-ditch challenge on Joe Worrall to stop Rangers grabbing another equaliser at the end. Ajer’s positional discipline was something to behold during the second-half Rangers onslaught.

Dedryck Boyata – 4 – So careless in possession once again, while he was outpaced and sat down by Ryan Kent as Rangers levelled. Came off injured shortly after with Celtic having already made all three of their substitutions, with the Bhoys actually defending better without him.

Kieran Tierney – 7 – Made a number of strong, driving runs for Celtic, especially when their Old Firm rivals went down to 10 men. Tested McGregor with a vicious shot to the far post on 38 minutes but the veteran stopper was equal to it. Was replaced after 73 minutes due to injury.

Callum McGregor – 8 – Played a big part in Celtic’s late winner, getting onto Tavernier’s misplaced pass that led to Forrest’s goal. Created a number of chances with some killer through-balls and seemed to flourish with the attacking freedom allowed by the Morelos red card.

Scott Brown – 8 – Another brilliant captain’s performance in a big game from Brown. Controlled possession from deep and gave his more attacking teammates freedom to push on. Did well to keep his cool when things got heated, drawing a red card out of Morelos, Brown laughing as the Colombian stormed off is Old Firm derby gold.

Olivier Ntcham – 6 – Was given license to push forward thanks to a combination of Scott Brown sitting behind him and Morelos’ red card pinning Rangers back for large parts of the game. Tested Allan McGregor early on but didn’t influence the game enough beyond that.

James Forrest – 9 – Set up Eduoard’s opener and caused Rangers a number of problems with his twisting and turning in tight spaces. Showed ultimate composure to hand Celtic a dramatic win in the final five minutes.

Jonny Hayes – 5 – Was one of Celtic’s less threatening players and was booked after 26 minutes for a late swipe on Ryan Kent. Substituted at half time as Neil Lennon looked to keep his numerical advantage.

Odsonne Edouard – 9 – Twisted Joe Worrall inside out to open the scoring and then returned the favour of Forrest’s assist by setting up the winger for Celtic’s late winner. Very quickly turning into a calm, deadly assassin up front.

Subs:

Scott Sinclair (45 mins, for Hayes) – 6 – Came on for the booked Hayes at halftime and although he tested the Rangers defence, his positional sense saw him offside or well away from areas where he could be a threat.

Tom Rogic (64 mins, for Ntcham) – 6 – Replaced Ntcham for a first appearance in over two months. Played some tidy passes but didn’t get too involved.

Jeremy Toljan (73 mins, for Tierney) – 6 – Came on for the final quarter as Tierney limped off and picked up where the Scotland international left off.

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Rangers

Allan McGregor – 9 – Kept Rangers in the tie with a number of massive saves and continues to shine in the big games. Steven Gerrard has him to thank for allowing Ryan Kent’s goal to be meaningful.

James Tavernier – 6 – This was mere minutes away from being a 9/10. Was one of Rangers’ main outlets in attack, charging forward with seemingly endless reserves of energy. Played a really smart pass inside to set Kent on his way for the equaliser. However, disaster struck in the final five minutes when his loose pass went to Callum McGregor and allowed Celtic to get a cruel winner via James Forrest.

Connor Goldson – 8 – Did brilliantly to usher Edouard wide and make the challenge when it seemed certain the Frenchman would double his tally in the first half and was a defensive rock throughout, winning tackles and headers for fun. Was also far more assured in possession than his centre-back partner.

Joe Worrall – 5 – As mentioned, Worrall seemed far less assured in possession than Goldson and was unable to stop Edouard scoring the opener when he went one-on-one with the French striker.

Andy Halliday – 7 – Made a number of important interceptions and always looked assured on the ball. Had Morelos remained on the pitch, his attacking freedom would have been greatly increased, but he seemed happy to leave that to Tavernier on the right.

Ryan Kent – 9 – Never stopped testing the Celtic defence, whether that was running at Lustig from wide, or driving at the centre-backs once Morelos had been sent off. Did brilliantly to see off Lustig and Boyata before firing home the equaliser on 63 minutes. Should have had an assist, too, had Jack shown more composure in front of goal. Could have been sent off, though, for a late push on Scott Brown.

Ross McCrorie – 7 – Battled brilliantly in midfield when Rangers went down to 10 men and did his best to cancel out the numerical advantage.

Ryan Jack – 5 – Some very loose touches in midfield and as much as he tried his best to drive forward and stop Rangers from getting swamped, he really should have given Gerrard’s men an unlikely win when he blazed over from Kent’s pull-back. Subbed for the last 10 minutes.

Scott Arfield – 7 – Along with McCrorie, tried his best to keep Rangers ticking in possession, while he battled hard against a dominant Celtic midfield to keep the tie much closer than it should have been.

Daniel Candeias – 7 – Showed really industry in both attack and defence, shielding Tavernier when he surged forward and forming a great partnership with his right-back to give Rangers are real attacking outlet when fighting against the odds.

Alfredo Morelos – 1 – Having just seen Rangers go 1-0 down, Morelos once again reached the heights of stupidity, reacting to a bit of gamesmanship from Brown by throwing an elbow into the Celtic captain. Of course, the linesman spotted the incident and the Colombian was dismissed after 31 minutes, leaving Rangers with a proverbial mountain to climb. His fifth red card this season in all competitions, will he ever learn?

Subs:

Glen Kamara (79 mins, for Jack) – 5 – Replaced Jack for the final 10 minutes but had little effect.

Jermaine Defoe (83 mins, for Candeias) – N/A – Thrown on late to try and steal a winner but instead saw his side contrive to defeat themselves.

Steven Davis (88 mins, for Arfield) – N/A – Came on late for Arfield and didn’t have time to influence the game.

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